“The Mariko Aoki phenomenon is a phenomenon consisting of the urge to defecate while visiting a bookstore. Originating in Japan, it is named for the woman who first publicized such an urge.”
The essay is more than just a literary genre but a lifestyle, and it’s dominating American society, Christy Wampole argues. “The genre and its spirit provide an alternative to the dogmatic thinking that dominates much of social and political life in contemporary America,” she writes.
Year in Reading alum Angela Flournoy writes about Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man for the National Book Foundation. “I return to Invisible Man often because it accomplishes so many things at once, but never at the sake of intelligent, moving storytelling.” Pair with our interview with Flournoy.
Former Brat Packer Molly Ringwald makes her literary debut with When It Happens to You: A Novel in Stories this week. Also out this week, Where’d You Go, Bernadette by comedy writer turned novelist Maria Semple, The St. Zita Society by Edgar Award-winner Ruth Rendell, and, in non-fiction, Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep by David K. Randall.
“excited to get over you by being obsessed with somebody who doesn’t want me.” Poetic Twitter accounts are all the rage. Over at The New Yorker, Haley Mlotek takes an in-depth look at one account in particular that is toeing the line between dark humor and debilitating sadness, @SoSadToday.